One of Android's new features that was stressed pretty heavily on stage tonight was Roboto, a system font created specifically for Ice Cream Sandwich, which, in all honesty, looks a lot better than the system fonts we've seen before.
At first I questioned why it was necessary to spend so much time discussing a simple type face (one without even a hint of a serif), but when I thought about it, it made sense - most of the things we do on Android devices involve letters and numbers in some way, and why not make those characters aesthetically pleasing?
In an age where a "contact" is more than a mere phone number and email address, contact management has become a tedious process. So, I was pleased to see Google taking a step in the right direction with ICS and updating the contact manager into the new and improved "People" app. During the ICS live blogHugo Barra, Product Management Director for Android at Google, demoed the new People app by showing off how it seamlessly integrated all the contact's basic information together with the person's different social profiles.
Developers, start your engines. Fresh Ice Cream Sandwich versions of the SDK and ADT have been released. There is a ton of new stuff to learn and play with. For starters, take a look at the 4.0 platform page here, download the 4.0 SDK here, and instructions for ADT 14 are over here.
I think I could write a book on all the new things in ICS, but here are the highlights for developers:
Unified UI framework for phones, tablets, and more - All the UI elements from Honeycomb, like the action bar and fragments.
Wow, what a heated hour we've just experienced, eh? Typing away and posting to our live blog, Google+, Facebook, and Twitter, while taking snapshots almost made me cross-eyed, but it's not time to stop right now. The official Galaxy Nexus site, which updates every time Google releases a new Nexus device, now has the freshly announced Galaxy Nexus plastered front and center:
If you click the blue dots, you can check out some of the major new features included in Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and the Galaxy Nexus.
So it's over - we've just finished watching one of the best Android presentations to date, and there's a lot to talk about. One of the primary topics on my mind right now is Ice Cream Sandwich, but more important than that is the device which will first bring it to our hands.
At tonight's announcement, Samsung officially unveiled the Galaxy Nexus, the first Ice Cream Sandwich device ever, set to hit the market "in November."
The presentation didn't give us any clearer picture of who exactly will be getting this device first, though the presentation pointed to LTE and HSPA capabilities, but it was made clear that the Galaxy Nexus will see a worldwide distribution, including the USA, Europe and Asia initially, and expanding globally at an unspecified date.
Someone got a hold of the Galaxy Nexus and made a valiant attempt to film it. Unfortunately they didn't open anything of interest (like, for instance, Gmail) and it seems like the phone wasn't even connected to the internet. Still, there are a few tidbits of precious information in there. Have a look:
The original upload was taken down, but nothing is ever truly deleted from the internet.
Just in time for tonight's big announcement from Google and Samsung, a video has been discovered that appears to be promotional material for NVIDIA's fabled Tegra 3 processor, formerly known as Kal-El.
Update: It looks like the video has been set to private, but we've got a couple of screenshots for you below.
Whether this video and the ICS/Nexus announcement are related is yet to be seen, but we do know that ASUS CEO Johny Chan is supposed to appear at tonight's event in Hong Kong, and that ASUS is supposedly including the Tegra 3 in their Transformer 2 tablet.
Hot on the trails of this morning's Galaxy Nexus confirmation comes yet another leak of the device, but this time it includes some eye candy. It looks like it's a Japanese magazine ad of some kind, but all the important parts are in English, including hardware specs and Android version number. Have a look:
Here's a rundown of what this ad does tell us:
4.7-inch HD Super AMOLED display (possibly rounded up from the rumored 4.65)
1.2GHz OMAP4460 Processor (likely underclocked from 1.5GHz)
Ice Cream Sandwich will indeed be Android 4.0
Galaxy Nexus is the official name
All this information lines up with what we've been hearing for the past couple of weeks, so it's more of a confirmation than anything else.
In what will probably be the last melting drop of the Ice Cream Sandwich leaks (oh the puns), we wanted to highlight one highly desired little feature ICS is finally going to bring to Android after all these years - native screenshot capabilities. If you thought 2 years was a long time for Apple to implement copy/paste... let's just say Google definitely has that record beat.
Update 10/18/11: Confirmed during the ICS unveiling:
Users of some Samsung, HTC, and other devices have already been enjoying this feature for some time thanks to manufacturer additions, but based on what we've seen so far (andwe'veseenquitea fewthings), the Galaxy Nexus will be able to take screenshots without the need for any external apps, root, carrier mods, or other nonsense - support for it is now baked into the core of ICS (I wonder if it tastes like caramel).